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Saturday, Apr 17, 2021

Boy, 10, 'refused entry to school because he wants to wear face mask in class'

Boy, 10, 'refused entry to school because he wants to wear face mask in class'

A father claims his son’s school have not allowed him to attend for almost three months because he refuses to remove his face mask in class.

Famous Wood, 10, has allegedly been turned away by staff at the school in Smethwick, Sandwell, every day since pupils were told to return to the classroom in September.

Dad Dean, 32, said his son has been anxious about the spread of Covid-19 in the classroom and wants to wear a face covering to protect himself and his peers.

But father-of-three Dean claims St Matthew’s Church of England Primary School refused to allow him to use a face mask because under 11s are exempt from having to wear them.

The school is yet to comment but Sandwell Council said it is ‘working with the school to assist them to resolve this situation quickly.’ It added that Famous has been provided with home-working material to keep up with studies.

Dean, a former child’s mentor, said: ‘Famous has been denied his education for 11 weeks now. I take him there every morning and we are always turned away.

‘We also come back every day for a closing time to protest and he brings his sign. My son just wants to go to school and be with his friends.’

Dean said the issue surfaced on the first day back to school in September – after almost six months out of the classroom – when his son turned up wearing a mask.

The local council said the school is working to resolve the situation quickly

He said: ‘After lockdown, with everyone being more Covid aware, Famous decided he wanted to wear a mask to keep himself and his friends safe because he’s anxious about it.

‘But the (school) keeps saying he can’t come in unless he takes it off. They said he can’t wear it because Government guidelines say kids under 11 don’t need to wear one and they’re just made it a rule.’

Famous added: ‘I went to school, I was ready to go in and they told me I couldn’t go in with my mask on. I’ve been wearing my mask to protect my family, my friends and myself.’

Dean and wife Cassandra, 31, claim the school have even threatened them with a truancy fine. The parents are standing by the wishes of their son who had always been a bright and well-behaved pupil, they said.

The father said: ‘I won’t make him remove it, if this is how he feels safe. They could be helping him to feel more comfortable by easing him in, but this whole situation is making it worse for him.’

A Sandwell Council spokesman said: ‘We all want to see a solution where this pupil can return to school as soon as possible.

‘The school has followed all government guidance and put in place measures keep pupils safe in response to COVID-19.

‘Ultimately this is the school’s decision, and they are trying to take into account all parties, staff, other children and families. However, we will continue to work hard to support them in finding a swift resolution.

‘The headteacher and her staff are continuing to work with the family with a view to the pupil returning to school and they are providing work online which the pupil can access remotely.’ has contacted St Matthew’s Church of England School for comment.


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